Speed the Plough ~ Chestnuts

Speed the Plough ~ Chestnuts Speed the Plough ~ Howe Speed the Plough

Speed the Plough ~ Chestnuts is an American Country Dance. It was published by Elias Howe in 1858 in Complete Ball-Room Hand Book. It was interpreted by Smucker & Millstone in about 2008. Found in Cracking Chestnuts. It is a proper Duple Minor dance. The dance lasts 32 bars.

The Regency Dance site lists two dances with this name, both triple minors, and neither with much in common with this dance save that the 1s lead down the middle and return. One is in Wilson's Treasures of Terspichore of 1809, the other in Platt's Popular & Original Dances of ~1815. There is a fourth version in Cecil Sharp's The Country Book Part 1.

Howe writtes...

First couple cross over, first lady balance to second gentleman and turn (at the same time) first gentleman balance to second lady and turn - first couple down the centre (on opposite sides) back (cast off) - ladies chain - half promenade, half right and left.

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily. Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color, however the border of each dancer indicates what role they currently play so the border color may change each time through the minor set.

The dance contains the following figures: cast (and probably others).

If you find what you believe to be a mistake in this animation, please leave a comment on youtube explaining what you believe to be wrong. If I agree with you I shall do my best to fix it.

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The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. I do not have a date for the interpretation, so it may be under copyright. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2021 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021 by George W. Williams V
Creative Commons License My work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Most of the dances have more restrictive licensing, see my notes on copyright, the individual dance pages should mention when some rights are waived.